On Monday’s “Morning Joe,” co-host Joe Scarborough indicated Mitt Romney’s decision to pick Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential nominee could help get the GOP back to its ideological roots, and said the selection excited him personally.
“I just want to say overall though — overall, this is the first time that I’ve been excited by something that the national Republican Party has done in well over a decade,” Scarborough said. “Looking at Paul Ryan, Paul Ryan comes from a small group of budget either Jedis or dorks, geeks, whatever. But he comes — there couldn’t be a tighter fit, ideologically at least, through the years with what a small group of us started trying to do in 1994, whether you’re talking about Steve Largent or John Shadegg, or Tom Coburn or Mark Sanford or Pat Toomey who came a few years later.”
As one of the few conservatives on MSNBC, Scarborough has been a critic of the Republican Party, but not because of its conservative ideology. Instead, he has argued over the years some in the GOP have abandoned small-government fiscal conservatism of which Ryan is a well known proponent.
Scarborough even went as far as likening the selection of Ryan to the excitement generated by the presidential campaign Ronald Reagan ran against President Jimmy Carter.
“Guys that — yes, were conservative socially, but we talked about the budget, we came to Washington because of the budget,” he said. “We are driven by the fears of the budget deficit. So Paul Ryan, there could not be a better pick for me.”
“I will tell you, this is the first time that the Republican Party, the national Republican Party has done something in over a decade that I go, ‘Wow, you know what, that may be my party. That may be the party that I joined when Ronald Reagan inspired me in 1979/1980,’” he added.
Although some have argued to Ryan pick is potentially problematic because his budget proposal is easy for political opponents to attack, Scarborough argued that this sets up a beneficial debate between two very different ideologies.
“It’s a great campaign because people on the left salivating,” Scarborough said. “Some of them are making fools of themselves. They’re overreaching, they’re trying to demonize this guy. But it’s a great race because look at me, excited as a small-government conservative, while progressives that believe in big government, are saying that this is the best pick for them. Now let’s start a real campaign.”